Capital punishment can be carried out justly against a murderer who has been justly convicted abortion, however, is always and in every situation grave sin and can never be justified in any sense the problems with presenting capital punishment as if it is a non-negotiable are manifold. Finally, capital punishment may be used to punish malefactors, ie people who freely choose to commit a heinous crime st thomas aquinas asserted that through sin, a man departs from the order of reason and falls away from the dignity of being an individual made in god's image and likeness. But among catholics and the religiously unaffiliated, opinion is more divided: 53% of catholics favor capital punishment, while 42% oppose it and while 45% of those who are religiously unaffiliated oppose the death penalty, 48% support it. Christopher a ferrara christopher a ferrara: president and lead counsel for the american catholic lawyers inc, mr ferrara has been at the forefront of the legal defense of pro-lifers for the better part of a quarter century. The latest on catholicism and capital punishment recently at public discourse , john finnis defended the thesis that the catholic church could adopt the position that capital punishment is intrinsically immoral.
New from remnant tv rtv's 'sunday sermons from south st paul' blows the lid off pope francis's attempt to change the constant teaching of the catholic church on capital punishment. Catholics on capital punishment pope francis has declared that the death penalty is unacceptable in all circumstances npr's don gonyea speaks with sister helen prejean about the history of the. Pope st innocent i and pope innocent iii taught that acceptance of the legitimacy in principle of capital punishment is a requirement of catholic orthodoxy pope pius xii explicitly endorsed the death penalty on several occasions. As i have emphasized elsewhere, even brugger concedes in his book capital punishment and roman catholic moral tradition that there existed a patristic consensus on the legitimacy in.
Augustine, pope innocent iii, st thomas aquinas, cardinal newman, and the catholic tradition as a whole has accepted capital punishment indeed, both the old testament (gn 9:6) and the new testament (rom 13:4) seemingly endorse the death penalty. After 2,000 years of teaching that a moral use of capital punishment for murder is consistent with catholic teaching, the pope announced that the catechism, the church fathers and st thomas aquinas, among the other great catholic theologians, were all wrong. The vatican said it had changed its universal catechism, a summary of church teaching, to reflect pope francis' total opposition to capital punishment credit: tony gentile/reuters.
Protestants are somewhat more likely to endorse capital punishment than are catholics and far more likely than those with no religious preference more than 7 in 10 protestants (71%) support the death penalty, while 66% of catholics support it. When pope francis declared the death penalty inadmissible last week, he codified a profound recognition that capital punishment is a vestige of a barbarous past. Whether francis is a formal heretic—that is, fully aware that what he is teaching on capital punishment is contrary to catholic doctrine, and proves pertinacious in maintaining his position in spite of rebuke—is a matter to be adjudicated by the college of cardinals.
Catholic capital punishment opponents who allege a parallel with slavery usually ignore these crucial distinctions) then there is the teaching of previous popes for example, in 1210 pope. The death penalty or capital punishment is the state execution of a criminal, whose crime is so grave that the death penalty proportionally redresses the disorder inflicted on society by the crime. Francis outlined the catholic church's opposition to capital punishment in a letter to the international commission against the death penalty, a group of former government officials, jurists and. Among the major reasons catholics gave for their opposition to capital punishment was respect for life, and 63% voiced concerns about what the use of the death penalty does to us as a people and a country. In the past two days, capital punishment has been a hot topic some claim previous church teaching was wrong while others saying pope francis is a heretic neither of these positions holds water.
A catholic defense of capital punishment james jacobs defending himself against the accusation of capital crimes, socrates famously asserted that the main concern should not be the value of a man's life , but the value of his life insofar as it is good and just. Most of the great theologians have defended the principle of capital punishment we're in danger of forgetting why dan hitchens is deputy editor of the catholic herald. But francis is going beyond merely teaching that capital punishment is wrong he is committing the church to working with determination for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide.
Francis' latest moves could signal a further development in catholic teaching against capital punishment -- and in his relationship with some us catholics. A principled catholic response to crime and punishment is rooted in our convictions about good and evil, sin and redemption, justice and mercy it is also shaped by our commitment to the life and dignity of every human person, and the common good. Catholics who feel called to seek abolition of capital punishment should do so in a way that respects the constitution of the united states this is the point of an article i have in the most recent issue of first things, which is available here (behind their paywall.